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Around Pleasanton: July 4 fireworks halted at fair, this time for good

Original post made on May 23, 2018

The popular and long-traditional Independence Day fireworks show at the Alameda County Fair has been canceled, and this time it's probably for good.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 2:04 PM

Comments (44)

Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Non-4th fireworks had kind of become a perk of living in Pleasanton. It has a great community feel, with the parks full of people from the neighborhood. Not too crowded. It's a small town good time.

I won't miss the 4th of July madness. Even the hidden gem spots were packed. And the people that drove into town were stressed out with traffic and parking. It didn't feel like a good time around town. I guess it wasn't great inside the gates either.

Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 23, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

So they’ll have fireworks every other night but not on the 4th? Fascinating.

Posted by Billie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Good! Now annex this property and built some homes are a school where this eyesore resides. No horse races, nor fireworks, only a trAiler parks wit gambling. Sell it to developers and get rid of the crime.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 24, 2018 at 7:51 am

What a crime. We can do firework just not on the birthday of our country. Sad sad sad

Posted by Tmax
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2018 at 9:38 am

Disappointing that yet again, the Alameda County Sheriff and Fair Officials cannot get their act together and provide a safe environment for the classic entertainment of fireworks on the 4th of July. Will the city of Pleasanton step in and provide this across the street at Bernal Community Park?

Posted by Frank Lynn
a resident of Valley Trails
on May 24, 2018 at 9:56 am

Sad that there's no fireworks because out-of-town knuckleheads get ornery and ruin things for the thousands of people who would like to enjoy.

I'm glad that those in our East Indian community were able to step up and provide fireworks after a Diwali celebration last year. Since they're somehow able to do it without incident, it's time for cultural appropriation - and we can teach our children that's the day when we get to see fireworks in the US - and not on the birthday of the founding our free-market democracy.

Posted by RR
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 24, 2018 at 9:59 am

Are they saying that the visitors for such events like the GoodGuys would stay at an “Upscale Hotel”? What do does the Fair Board consider upscale? I assume that when there are events at the fair grounds the “Upscale Hotel” will increase it’s room rates because they can. Again, will the participants in fair events stay at the hotel. What is their definition of an upscale hotel? Sheraton Palace, Ritz Carlton, FourSeasons or a Courtyard?

Posted by Willey Coyote
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 24, 2018 at 10:07 am


How about CLOSE the fair for the 4th and keep the fireworks ?

The fair attracts all kinds and unfortunately the actions of a few ruin it for the many.

Posted by P -town girl
a resident of Val Vista
on May 24, 2018 at 10:07 am

I do not know why they just do not do fireworks on Friday nights like they did a few years ago It was popular and everyone enjoyed that and there were no incidences. Bring that back the fireworks every night like the past we’re about 30 seconds in length and I’m sorry were terrible. The prices are getting higher and soon no one will be coming What is happening to the fair is terrible. THIS IS NOT ORANGE COUNTY

Posted by Ndna Jnz
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 24, 2018 at 10:55 am

Ditto what RR said. What is meant by "upscale"?
Are the carneys (I mean no intentional disrespect here) going to stay in the upscale hotel? Perhaps some of the bigger concert acts for the fair might stay there. And a few well-off families coming from other parts of the East Bay (the Bay Area obviously does have quite a few well-off families that can afford to live here in the first place) may opt to stay there to avoid the traffic going home at night. But, the fair runs for ~2 weeks; who is going to stay at an upscale hotel during the rest of the year? It's not exactly a convenient distance to Hacienda Business Park.

Posted by Ndna Jnz
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 24, 2018 at 11:02 am

I'm with P-town girl on the Friday nights only for fireworks. With the fair board apparently concerned with reputation, advertising a fireworks show every night, and then limiting it to a few minutes, will leave people with a sense of getting ripped off. Reserving the fireworks for Friday night only means likely only 3 shows - much more for your money. Then, if it turns out the hoodlums still show up on Friday nights, then cancel the fireworks altogether.

Posted by Pleasanton Citizen
a resident of Civic Square
on May 24, 2018 at 11:52 am

Good call, Jerome! Glad to see the Fairgrounds, Sheriffs and Police made a reasonable decision. It seems this will allow business to thrive, while keeping the fair safe.

Posted by K
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 24, 2018 at 11:57 am

Fireworks. One of the most exciting things for this Big Kid forever at the Fair. It 's so sad that we have to remove this family fun activity that families look forward to on July 4th instead of removing perhaps one or 2 of the 100 beer and wine bars? Or perhaps stop selling alcohol at 6 pm on July 4th. Guarantee alot of the riff raff and sloppy drunks that cause problems won't come or at least will be not so "lit up" as the Fire Works????! It's disheartening to see this go. It a long time tradition that brings us all together.....But you know, booze sells and Cash is King....Just Saying....

Posted by no manners here
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2018 at 1:21 pm

This is not much of a surprise. I am fortunate to adjust my schedule to be in Paris each year for their National Holiday (Bastille Day, July 14). There are more than half a million people in the parks around the Eiffel Tower and the fireworks are launched from the tower as well as the water park across the street. One hour of unimaginable fun. When those half million people go home the parks have less garbage than our downtown park after one Friday night concert. Think about that. Half a million people who pick up their trash versus a couple thousand Pleasanton people who have the manners of pigs. Those who go to the fairgrounds, whether from Pleasanton or not, have ruined this event for everyone. Those who trash the park after the concerts are ruining that for all of us as well. Oh, BTW, the park closes at 10 so pick up your trash and GO HOME!

Posted by sanity
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm

sanity is a registered user.

The city of Pleasanton has become the party of poopers.
Lets see what other fun things you can ruin?

Posted by Dont Get Fooled Again
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Dont Get Fooled Again is a registered user.

Maybe they should just cancel Oakland Day. Problem solved.

Posted by ScaredSnowflake
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on May 24, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Bok Bok Bok Bcack! Safe & Slow, Raise Prices & Build Upscaale Hotell . That will solve all of The Liability and Reputation worries . Punka$$ . More particpation trophies!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2018 at 7:16 pm

1/2 Million people attended on the 4th of July in 2014? Are you serious? Talk about negligent. Why not limit the crowd? Disneyland’s capacity is about 90,000. Half a million makes no sense. No wonder there are problems. HELLO.

Posted by Rider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm


I think the 1/2 million people was total for 2014.

Posted by No manners here
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Geez people read the post. Half a million in ***Paris***. No one said that was in Pleasanton. The point is that half a million well mannered civilized people in Paris create less mess than a few thousand in overly entitled Pleasanton. Sad commentary on our Ill mannered people here.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2018 at 10:36 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Seems like an easy out vs solving the problem. Limit the people in, reduce the availability of alcohol, police to close of neighboring areas to prevent overflow into neighborhoods, etc.

It is sad that Diwali can have fireworks but July 4th cant.

Posted by Justin
a resident of Avignon
on May 25, 2018 at 1:25 am

There have been so many changes to our fair over the years. It used to have a great feel, so looked forward to fireworks, getting splashed by the water pump on a hot summer day, looking at the displays. The Young California building became another commercial building, now no Independence Day fireworks.
They sold many antiques they had acquired... no more blacksmith either which was such fun... wish they would bring that talented guy back.
It seems our agricultural heritage is being minimized along with our Fireworks tradition on the 4th.
It does seem to be about alcohol sales, commercialism and less and less of what actually draws myself and my family to attend.

I realized they need to make money, yet, it is unbalanced with the heritage, history, displays and agriculture. We need to make sure they keep educational displays too.
Perhaps we need new fair board members??
And, yes, it is so very disappointing that people exhibit such bad habits in parks, our fairgrounds and elsewhere.
Wish people had better and kinder behavior, etiquette and manners too.

Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2018 at 5:46 am

Just the facts is a registered user.

One fact is being overlooked here. The shooting in 1998 occurred in the midway and according to this the fights occurred in the midway. Maybe a better decision is to close the midway at 6pm and cutoff alcohol sales at 6pm. Yes, it would cut into revenue for the day but good people would still come to see an independence day fireworks show.

The large volume of people who flock to Pleasanton to attend the fireworks on the 4th create a logistical traffic nightmare for police to deal with and people become impatient. If you want the fireworks, be willing to have the traffic flow impacted just as it is after any large event.

Fireworks on Friday nights makes more sense than having a show every night, except on the 4th. Watered down, repetitive shows become less special and almost trivial. What are the fair board people thinking? Don't waste the money on a "high end hotel", it isn't needed or relevant!

Posted by Tom & Ken
a resident of Country Fair
on May 25, 2018 at 7:04 am

What a sad sad way our world has become. Look how far we have come throughout the last fifteen to twenty years and within the last two years we are nothing but a Nation of Anger and Hate and disrespect for one another. What happened to Love for your neighbor ? What happened to decency ? It is true that all it takes is one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch.

All the Peace Makers are no doubt turning upside down in their graves. Now we are a Nation of turmoil amongst ourselves. Stealing, Killing, Destroying
other people's property, looking down on another's nationality , Road Rage
and it goes on and on. Where does it stop? It stops within the one individual.

Lets pick up the broken pieces and get our hearts and actions back were they belong. Start by looking at your neighbor and treat him or her like a human being without being self righteous and judgmental. We are all family no matter what color or shape we are , we are all human beings and should be treated as such. Make it a better world by your actions and not by your hate. Start today not tomorrow! Respect the Law and Respect each other.
One Nation under God , and the rest you know by heart.

Posted by no manners here
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2018 at 8:48 am

The fair seems to place highest emphasis on alcohol sales and that brings the wrong crowd here. They also fail to enforce the noise restrictions and the PPD is not allowed to do it for them. The recent decision to ban the muslim Nowroz festival was a good start. There were hundreds of noise complaints each year to the PPD even though they were powerless to act on them. The fair committee finally got the message and did not allow them back. The fair workers do not use high end hotels or any other services in Pleasanton. The carnies sleep on the fairgrounds and rarely leave. Those living near the fair not only deal with illegal parking and trash, then cannot even park in front of their own homes. How about permit parking only -- and enforce it! Why should those of living in or near downtown suffer the ill manners of people coming here for only one purpose? The people coming into town don't eat, sleep or purchase in town, they are only here for the fair. While that might not be a completely bad thing, it seems that if alcohol sales were strictly limited in amount and times the fair might get back to being about kids, crafts, animals and fun rather than looking like a frat party gone bad.

Posted by Birdlander
a resident of Birdland
on May 25, 2018 at 9:46 am

It seems clear to me that you have a fair board and management team that have a view and plan for the fair grounds that take away the small town feel and small county look and want to develop a more state fair feel and experience. Look at the grounds, most if not all of the old farm equipment is gone, the black smith barn was torn down, rumor has it the model railroad club will get the boot soon, the lack of permanent horse stabling, the installation of a sky rider and the reserved concert seating all present a new look. The fair grounds are both a boom and an problem for the city. How many people who attend events at the fair stay in town or spend money at local businesses? I am sure someone in the City has studied this and it would be interesting to see the results. How many local residents attend the events hosted there? Again you have a fair board that is county focused and the best interest of the City may not be the top priority. Find out who the board members are and tell them how you feel many are elected officals - Nothing is as permanent as change - but you dont have to sit idle and watch it happen be a part of it and impact its direction

Posted by Buc Lau
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2018 at 9:47 am

Buc Lau is a registered user.

Easy solution to this one to - boycott the fair this year. When they see the drop in attendance. Maybe they will wake up. Not a big fan anyway. It has become an outdoor venue for the Walmart crowds

Posted by Been to Paris Myself
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2018 at 9:54 am

To No Manners Here: Are you kidding me? I've been to Paris on the day after Bastille Day and the trash I've seen and the smell of urine was unGodly.

Sad to see the fireworks go on the 4th. We still remember that night we waited and waited and waited until we went home only to find out the next day that a couple of thugs ruined it for everyone else.

Posted by Tim F.
a resident of Del Prado
on May 25, 2018 at 11:01 am

"We're just taking this extra precaution so as not to tarnish our reputation again," he explained. "It's not worth one unbelievable night of business to ruin a reputation."

Let me re-write this statement for this moron:

"We're just taking this extra precaution so as not to endanger the public," he explained. "It's not worth putting people in danger for one unbelievable night of business."

You'd think that maybe in light of all the recent tragedies, (he) could at least pretend to be acting in the interests of public good rather than the city's coffers.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 25, 2018 at 11:15 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

County fair; county coffers?

Posted by Cosmic-Charlie
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2018 at 11:36 am

Cosmic-Charlie is a registered user.

It is my understanding that Oakland residents get a free pass day at the fair. That really steams me. As a resident of Pleasanton, who has to put up with a fair crowd for 2 weeks in the early summer, it would seem more appropriate to give the city of Pleasanton residence a free pass days for our inconvenience rather than someone from Oakland, where most of the trouble comes from...

Posted by So sad
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 25, 2018 at 6:57 pm

A hotel at valley and bernal? Kiss all those pretty trees goodbye.
What a shame. Fair fans don't like to see change at the fair!
With the 6:00 closing on the fourth and the new cost or ticket needed for the concerts, imagine the customer service nightmare.
People get too confused and they won't come back.
My opinion!

Posted by So sad
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 25, 2018 at 6:59 pm

Cosmic Charlie
Maybe you heard the kids get a free entrance on free kids day and they arrive on busses from Oakland. I've seen that.

Posted by Tom & Ken
a resident of Country Fair
on May 25, 2018 at 7:39 pm

It's not only Oakland....Let's get real here! Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin
Brentwood, Fremont, Pleasanton and surrounding areas all have their own misfits who cause problems wherever they go. You have homeless people here in Pleasanton just like in Oakland. People that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones! Look at your own backyard. Get over it and move on!
Life matters to all people.. not just a chose few....that are finger pointed or because of creed or color or where you came from. Let's see how happy you will be by building a wall within yourself!

Posted by Hawkeye
a resident of Dublin
on May 25, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Part of the long term plan in addition to the hotel and convention center, will be the eventual elimination of the popular model railroad exhibit

Posted by resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 26, 2018 at 5:59 am

What a shame that the board couldn't find a way to keep with such a wonderful tradition that has part of history of our city. I agree with no free admittance with residents from Oakland. The amount of revenue would help pay for the extra security needs on the 4th. I'll be curious to see what improvements to the fair experience with the ticket price increase, as well as the concert ticket fees. Very disappointed

Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

BobB is a registered user.


How do you know that is true? You may be all steamed up about something that isn't even true?

Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2018 at 9:04 am

BobB is a registered user.

Web Link

Posted by So sad
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 26, 2018 at 11:20 am

For the newbies confused about the reference to Oakland Day, in ancient times each day of the fair was assigned to a different city in the county and incorporated talent shows and themed events based on the city. July 4 was always assigned to Oakland.

Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2018 at 2:36 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@So sad,

So it isn't true anymore?

Posted by Lisa
a resident of Mission Park
on May 28, 2018 at 10:08 am


I do not believe your claim that Oakland people get free fair tickets. That is a hogwash Trumpian dog whistle. Also, I have never seen "bus loads" of children brought in from Oakland. Again - hogwash Trumpian dog whistle.

Yes, there are a lot of African American families at the fair on any night. They have a right to be there and are there to enjoy the fair just like any other family.

Posted by Try a better way
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

There are great suggestions in these comments that you shoud try before cancelling the event. Solve the problem by not punishing all the good people. How about the 4th of July be a dry day and call it an Old Time Celebration. No alcohol sold that day and try to keep it out at the gate. Limit the number of people allowed in the fair and close the parking lot before that number is reached on the 4th. Turn people away and no in and out stamps after a certain time. That will prevent people that are going to their cars to drink from getting back in.Just a thought.

Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 28, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Thank you, BobB for posting the link to the details of the free and discount days!

Posted by MostlyanewbietoPtown
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 28, 2018 at 5:55 pm

I personally would not have a problem with the fair being closed on the 4th, it’s just a logistical nightmare. I understand that it is a long standing tradition but to be truthful the entire Bay Area is more crowded than ever. I’ve spent my entire 60+ years around here and grew up with orchards and not many freeways. How about we support business around the fairgrounds? Take your family to a local restaurant, go to one of our many beautiful parks, have a craft beer brewed here, get an iceream cone, eat chocolate, and support local!!

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